Do you love to paint, make crafts, knit, or do other types of artistic endeavors? If you’re the creative type, considering channeling your medium of choice into beautiful and purposeful creations. If you have a particular craft or artistic discipline you love—and let’s face it, most of us have something we love to do—leverage it for the greater good. Whether it’s donating your work or using your talent to spread joy, here are some ways you can give back using your creativity.
Stitch Some good
Looking to add a personal touch? Join Soldiers’ Angels’ Sewing and Craft Team, a group involved in knitting, sewing, crocheting, and quilting gifts for military members. Their creations include lap blankets for veterans in wheelchairs and a “baby brigade” dedicated to crafting baby blankets and booties for expecting military spouses. Don’t sew? That’s okay—they have a no-sew blanket project, too. The organization has a number of other ways volunteers can support active-duty military, wounded warriors, military families, and veterans as well.
Other ways to help include knitting and crocheting essential items for others through Warm Up America. You can also give back by crafting items for kids battling HIV, drug abuse, child abuse, or chronic and terminal illnesses. Knots of Love lets you warm the heads and hearts of cancer patients by knitting and delivering a handmade cap.
Abandon some art
The Art Abandonment project is a fun way to spread joy through your art. Here’s how it works: Craft something for the sheer joy of making it and then leave the art for an unsuspecting person to find. You may choose to leave your art in public places with a note to the recipient that it’s a gift for the taking. Some people ask the finder to post a photo on social media with the hashtag #ArtAbandonment. It’s a great way to bring a little extra brightness to someone’s day.
Warm hearts with your greetings
If you paint, draw, or work with collage materials, try creating cards for organizations like Cards for Hospitalized Kids and Stay Gold. Alternatively, reach out to local hospitals, nursing homes, or veteran groups to find out how you can make and send cards to people who are lonely or isolated. This also presents a great opportunity to involve kids in acts of kindness.
Help shelter pets play
If you like new craft projects, why not make toys for shelter pets? Check out this Create the Good® service project that shows you how to make pet toys from items you find around the house. Make several and donate them to a local animal shelter or rescue.
Give the gift that keeps on growing
Decorate inexpensive terracotta pots with ceramic paint and fill them with potting soil and a seed packet. You can give these eco-friendly crafts to neighbors and friends—it’s a great way to say thanks, introduce yourself, or teach children about gardening. All they’ll have to do is add water.
Give the gift of memories
Plan a visit to a senior center to help a resident create a scrapbook of their memories. They’ll provide the photos, but you’ll come bearing the supplies: an album, scissors, tape, photo corners, backgrounds, markers, and stickers. Ask what they’d like to document, from one event to a whole decade’s worth of stories, and help them organize it all in a creative and visually appealing way.
Make something to donate
From wreaths to soap to jewelry, many people like to make beautiful, useful items. For example, you can make a wreath out of almost anything—not just evergreens and hollies. You can use common household items like clothes hangers, flowers, and candy, and give it to a friend to hang on their door. Interested in learning how to make soap? Explore these recipes and watch online tutorials, then have a go at creating homemade soap with your own signature scent and shape. Afterwards, consider donating your creations to your favorite nonprofit for a fundraiser, as donor gifts, to resell in a thrift store, or any other way to support the organization.
Looking for more fun ideas and ways to give back? Visit www.createthegood.org for more ideas.